- Brown beef in a little bit of hot oil, then add liquid (stock or wine) and simmer. A 2 pound piece of meat will need to simmer for 2–3 hours.
- Braising differs from stewing in that less liquid is used; typically, the liquid is less than half the height of the meat. The top part of the meat cooks in the liquid’s steam.
- Braising is usually used for one large piece of meat (e.g., 2 pounds), where as stewing is usually for cubes of beef.
- Braising can be done on the stovetop or in the oven.
- The residual liquid is used as part of the sauce after the meat is cooked.
- Braising is the preferred method for cooking round cuts, because it tenderizes the meat and imparts a lot of flavor.
- Uses radiant heat at a high temperature, typically more than 500°F.
- It is easy to burn meat when broiling. Keep an eye on it.
- Broil steaks that are 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches thick, no thinner.
- Larger pieces of meat should be cooked at lower temperatures slowly, so the meat cooks evenly. Smaller pieces of meat should be cooked at a higher temperature, quickly.
- Broiling is best for steak, tenderloin and London broil.
- Uses a cooking grate over an intense heat source.
- For indoor grilling, use a heavy-duty grill pan on the stovetop.
- Electric indoor grills are fast-cooking, because they cook meat from both bottom and top. Be careful not to overcook.
- Use canola oil to coat the grill to prevent the meat from sticking.
- Cooks food quickly in just enough oil to coat the skillet. This is not deep frying, which covers the food in oil.
- Make sure the oil is hot before adding the food. Otherwise the food will absorb oil and become soggy.
- Pan frying is great for ground beef and steaks.
- Uses dry heat (in the oven). Place meat on the rack of a broiler pan to cook the meat evenly. Start at a high temperature (475°F) for 20 minutes to brown the outside; then reduce heat to 325°F for the remainder of the time (20–30 minutes per pound for a 3 pound roast).
- Keep meat from drying out by basting with its natural juices or beef stock (not water).
- A dry rub is a great seasoning for roast beef. Try 1 part salt, 1 part brown sugar, and 1 part fresh herbs and pepper.
- Roasting is a great cooking method for round cuts and large pieces of meat (greater than 1 pound).
- Brown cubes of beef first, then cover meat with liquid (e.g., broth, wine, stewed tomatoes) and simmer slowly. Stews take 2–3 hours to cook.
- The liquid is part of the dish in a stew. When vegetables are added, it makes a thick, chunky soup.
- Stewing is great for tenderizing round cuts.
- Cooks meat quickly over high heat in a wok or heavy skillet. Uses little oil.
- Stir fry thin strips of meat first. Remove, then stir fry bite-size vegetables. Toss meat and vegetables together in hot skillet briefly, and serve.
- If water collects in the skillet, the heat is not high enough. It may be that the pan is overcrowded, causing the temperature to come down. Stir fry in batches to keep skillet temperature high.
- Stir frying works best with bits of steak, tenderloin, and thinly cut strips from the round.
When Is It Done?
NOTE:Laura’s Lean Beef cooks in 1/3 less time. Do not overcook. The best method for ensuring your meat is done to your specifications is to use a meat thermometer.
(measured with a meat thermometer)
- Medium Rare:145°F at its center (recommended for steaks and roasts)
- Medium:160°F at its center (recommended for ground beef)
- Medium Well:165°F at its center
- Well:170°F at its center
- Medium Rare:: Is a bit firmer than raw meat and still has some “give” to it.
- Medium:Has lost some of its “give” and is becoming firm.
- Medium Well:Has very little “give” left. It’s mostly firm.
- Well:Is completely firm.
(a 2–3 lb. roast in a 325°F to 375°F oven)
- Medium Rare:Cook 20 to 30 minutes per pound.
- Medium:Cook 25 to 35 minutes per pound.
- Medium Well:Cook 30 to 35 minutes per pound.
- Well:Cook 30 to 40 minutes per pound.